7 Things to consider when it’s redesign time

There’s a lot to think about when you start considering redesigning the company website, so below are a few of the considerations, and things that sometimes get overlooked.

1. When is it redesign time?

We sometimes get asked, “how often should a corporate website be redesigned?” As with many things, there’s no hard and fast rule. Ideally, the corporate website should keep evolving with your business to the extent that major overhauls aren’t frequently required. After all, your company is always changing, moving forward – so why shouldn’t your website? However, sometimes a bigger rethink is required, and hopefully not because the website has been ignored for so long that it’s become an embarrassment.

2. Why is it redesign time?

Redesigns are undertaken for a whole host of reasons: because the company is rebranding, because the direction of the company has changed and the website needs a thorough overhaul to catch up, because the site isn’t performing well in terms of converting visits to sales or enquiries, because it’s difficult to manage via the existing content management system (CMS), or just because it looks like it was built last century (which in some cases is only because it was!)

3. Determine your goals

Knowing what your business needs from your website is absolutely critical to getting the redesign right. It’s very nice to have a design that looks great, but plan to include goals for the site that cover everything you need from it.

A good website should be:

  • able to clearly communicate your value proposition and key messaging
  • able to convert visits to enquiries or sales
  • very easy for a user to understand and navigate
  • secure enough to avoid unwanted intrusions or data theft
  • well built so that it performs well – good quality code and good page load speed
  • content managed by a system which gives you full control over your content
  • updated frequently and enthusiastically

4. Think from the outside in – plan for your visitors

People inside a business are so familiar with the business, its internal structure, its language and terminology, that they can’t see it from a customer’s point of view. But that’s exactly what you need to do in order to create a website that speaks to your customers and prospects. You might refer to your product as your automotive audio platform, but to your customers it’s just a car stereo. Personas – creating pretend people who will typically visit your website – can be a great way to put yourself in your visitors shoes.

5. Internal approvals process

A website is something that everyone can have an opinion on, so it’s useful to decide at the outset who the stakeholders are, and how the feedback and sign-off process will be managed. Design-by-committee is not the best way to get your website goals met.

6. Consider content

If there’s sufficient momentum to refresh the website, there should be similar momentum – and effort – behind reviewing the copy. Not everything will need a complete rewrite, but there’s a considerable commitment in reviewing everything and rewriting as necessary: something that’s often underestimated.

7. Create an ongoing management strategy

Getting the most out of your redesign investment means continuing to work on the site after it is launched. Your website is the first place people go to get a feel for your business, so launch and forget is not an option. Often sites benefit from no more attention than the posting of a press release every so often – and that’s how they end up being a misdirected, out of date embarrassment. Keep working on your site, keep investing time in it, and it will pay you back by demonstrating to everyone how committed you are to your products, your service or your message.

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